I haven’t posted much here this month for three reasons: I’ve been nursing a throat infection, my sister-in-law got married (and what happened on that day could have came straight out of a comedy film) and more important to the blog at least, I’ve been working on getting queries ready to submit ‘Tempest Blades’ to agents.
And I have to say, this is nerve wracking.
I know the odds are not in my favour. If I were in the Hunger Games I might have been one of those tributes that die on the first day. And I’m not saying this to get sympathy. Truth is that the publishing business is a very competitive one where getting noticed is hard. Agents and editors have to go through hundreds if not thousands of queries of varying quality, wondering if this particular author/book is a good fit, for them, for their markets.
I go through similar process every six months or every year at work when I’m tasked to review applications for the Masters degree at my school. Specifically those relating my fields of study and those of my research group. It is not just matter of what’s written on paper. There are several factors to consider given that I would have to be working with this prospective student for two years till they graduate and pass their viva. It’s as much as a working relationship as any other.
It comes to the same with the author-agent relationship. It has to be right. And it comes to research, a lot of editing of the query letters and a good amount of luck. The query letter is your presentation card and has to be right. It’s like maximizing your chances and minimizing the odds of the
Now that I think about it, I already went through a similar process when I was applying to universities in UK for my Ph.D studies. I had to research universities, programs, potential supervisors and even the cost of life in the zone. Then write the introductory email to several of them (I submitted to at least a dozen) of which I only got three replies. And of those three I was accepted in only one.
After that I had to go through a lengthy process of interviews and research proposal writing. For not saying getting a sponsorship and my student visa while trying to finish my design degree… all in six months!
How I survived that given my anxiety and depression issues I don’t know. I just know I kept ploughing till I got it. The odds weren’t on my favor back then either. Not many design students from Mexico got accepted on Ph.D programs in UK back on the day, not many sponsors gave you grants for design degrees, my English wasn’t as good as it is now (or so I hope) and in the university that finally accepted me there were few available places for my degree.
And yet I got in. The second best thing to happen to me (the first one was getting married).
It was nerve wracking.
This time, like back then I have been researching agents that deal with similar books to mine. I have been following their blog post and interviews about how to write a query, created a spreadsheet with their submission requirements and in general tried to maximize my chances and minimize the odds.
And yet I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff. I’m still feeling insecure about the readiness of my novel. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in it and the world I have crafted. I believe that the work I have put on it for the past two years should be enough to get a foot in. However at the same time I have to be realistic about my chances. I’m not a wünderkid. The odds against me are bigger this time than the last time and my novel might not cut the mustard this time. Maybe I already maximized my good luck credit.
And yet I have to try once more. Otherwise I will never do it. I have to believe in my novel because if I don’t no one else will. It may not be perfect. But hey I got nominated for an award for an idea I had so…
One of the agents I’m planning to query closes her querying next week so I have to take the chance now it never. I guess this entry is more an exercise into talking myself into doing it.
I will let you know how it goes. Maybe the old Victoria Luck still has some fuel in the tank.
And if by any chance you who are reading this are an agent, please consider my query. I know you might have tons of them to sort through but I promise, this novel has future.